Being Thankful During National Adoption Month

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

adoptionmonthIt can’t be an accident that National Adoption Month includes Thanksgiving, because any adoptive family will tell you that they are perennially thankful that adoption helped make their family complete.

My family came together nearly 5 years ago, when my wife and I adopted our son. When he was a newborn, there were tons of resources for us as adoptive parents—between the adoption agency’s counselors, a nightstand full of books and, of course, the Internet, we got lots of good info and advice about bringing our baby into the family. And we’ve seen that there’s also plenty of help when our son has questions later on, typically around age 8 or 9.

But what about now, when he’s on the older side of young and getting ready to move up to kindergarten? We’ve been talking to him about his story since he was born, but clearly his brain is moving up to some new levels—and there isn’t as much helpful info to be had about this stage.

I asked two local therapists for advice on what adoptive families can be doing to help kids around 5 or 6, and they really came through. I’m thankful to both of them, and always thankful during National Adoption Month to be lucky enough to have met my son the way that I did.

Here’s what they had to say: Continue Reading

PARCC Backlash Dominates Emotional Montclair BOE Meeting

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 7:42pm  |  COMMENTS (17)

boe meetingMontclair’s last BOE meeting was filled with teachers and parents passionate in their opposition of the district’s handling of PARCC testing. The meeting, held on Monday, November 17, and posted yesterday for viewing on TV34, started with a moment of silence for educator Clement Price as well as recognition for a young mathematician from Glenfield School as well as students from Montclair High School who have also excelled academically as part of the National Merit Scholarship program. There was also presentation of the audit report and the enrollment report.

Then, one by one, speakers came to the podium during the public comment portion of the meeting, raising different issues regarding PARCC. Most statements were followed by cheers from the attendees, many of whom are Montclair teachers.

teachers

Dan Gerdes, a Hillside teacher, spoke as both a parent and an educator, expressing concerns about student’s readiness to take PARCC not only in terms of their mastery of content but the technical skills to needed to succeed. Gerdes said the necessary technical skills needed take PARCC were not expected to be taught by technical teachers but all teachers regardless of other demands on their time or their access to technology.

“As we receive new information weekly on PARCC, the expectations are unrealistic and unsustainable,” Gerdes added. Continue Reading

Holiday Gifting For Kids: Thinking Outside The (Toy) Box

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

gifts for kids

The holidays are coming, which also means gift giving. Children look forward to receiving gifts as much as adults enjoy giving them. What do you do when your child can’t fit one more toy in the toy box (or you can’t bear buying a toy you know has a short play life)? Here are some ideas for holiday giving that can bring joy to the entire family and don’t require batteries. Continue Reading

Montclair Girls Soccer Make History, Win State Championship For Group 4

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Congratulations to Coach McOmish and the Montclair High School Girls Soccer team for their history-making win for the State Championship for Group 4 on Saturday. The final score was Montclair, 2, Hunterdon Central, 1.

Freshmen Fiona Tubiana and Rebecca Van Siclen helped Montclair win the program’s first Group 4 title by scoring the two goals. Sophomore Gabby Isola kept the Red Devil offense at bay with her strong goalkeeping. Read more about the outstanding performances by all the players on Sideline Chatter.

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Holiday Fun Day With Jungle Gym Jam and A “Frozen” Singalong!

BY  |  Monday, Nov 24, 2014 4:46pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jungle Gym JamMontclair’s Church of the Immaculate Conception’s social hall will be rocking for kids and families this Saturday, November 29, with Montclair kids-and-family rock band Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam.

A very special guest — that certain “Snow Queen” of Frozen fame — will lead children in a sing-along of “Let It Go.”

Bring a nonperishable food item to benefit hungry families in the area with the help of Mary’s Pantry, the Church’s community food service. A food or cash donation will make a lucky winner eligible for a prize basket from the band.

“Hometown performances here in Montclair are special for us,” said Jason, “but adding the holiday element and a beloved movie character to the family fun is going to make this a day full of truly great moments I can’t wait to share with kids and families.” Continue Reading

Montclair High School Principal Addresses Parking Issues/Ticketing

BY  |  Monday, Nov 24, 2014 4:02pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair High School Principal Addresses Parking Issues/TicketingToday, following Baristanet’s story on Montclair High School parking issues, confusion and increased ticketing of student vehicles, Principal James Earle has sent the following to parents:

Dear MHS Parents/Caregivers:

In recent days we learned that there has been some confusion from both students and staff regarding parking permissions at or near MHS. In addition, it is our understanding that there has recently been an increase in monitoring by the Montclair Parking Utility that has inconvenienced many of our students who drive and park at school. Continue Reading

Glen Ridge High School: No Midterms or Finals

BY  |  Monday, Nov 24, 2014 3:09pm  |  COMMENTS (7)

glen ridge high schoolWant to know why Glen Ridge high school students got a lot happier recently?

Glen Ridge High School is making headlines today with news that the school has cancelled midterms and finals for students because prepping for new PARCC state tests take up too much time. Continue Reading

Montclair High School ParkingGate: Teacher Complained, Tickets Happened (Updated)

BY  |  Monday, Nov 24, 2014 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (10)

UPDATE: Principal James Earle responded to parking concerns via email to parents today.

We told you about Montclair High School students stating they were unfairly ticketed by Montclair Parking Authority. There’s a petition to eliminate timed parking at Montclair High School (with more than 400 supporters at press time) and a Facebook page for Fair Parking Rules at MHS.

We learned of the recent spate of ticketing from an email we received from a Montclair student on November 13 that read:

Today, a number of students were ticketed on Midland Avenue by the high school, where the sign says there is two hour parking, “except for valid permit holders on school days.”

The response we received then from Tina Iordamlis of the Montclair Parking Utility:

The students received tickets because they were parked in a teachers only designated area. Students/parents are provided with instructions about where they are permitted to park when they purchase their permits.

Now emails received by Baristanet show that the flurry of tickets started just a day after a chain of emails (see below) between school staff and officials questioning where students can park and recognizing that the system is indeed complicated. The email chain starts with a complaint by a Montclair teacher who emailed Maryann Wasko, assistant to MHS Principal James Earle, on November 12:

Students are continually parking on Midland Ave., between Chestnut and James, and not getting tickets. Several have told me they were not even aware it was a faculty parking area and off limits to them. I’m not sure if there was a change in that status. If there wasn’t, we would appreciate the town enforcing the rule. I know parking authorities come here because I get tickets for parking to [SIC] close to the corner (because students take up spaces) — while they are here, I would hope they could give students tickets, too.

Continue Reading

Renaissance Rocks Tonight!

BY  |  Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 8:51am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Renaissance Rocks Tonight!Montclair’s Renaissance Middle School is getting ready for Renaissance Rocks! This grownup night of great dancing, food, drink and fun will raise much needed funds to enhance Renaissance students’ outdoor environment, in addition to supporting ongoing PTA initiatives such as field trips, arts programming, technology and more.

Buy tickets at the door. Current and alumni families welcome!

The event is tonight, Saturday, November 22, from 7 to 11 at The Loft on Lackawana Plaza, the door to the right of Bobbi Brown’s makeup store.

Tia’s Food of Love is catering! There will be savory, hearty finger foods—including Fillet Mignon Crostini, Caribbean Coconut Chicken, Poached Salmon Salad and more, with vegetarian and gluten-free options, too. Mouthwatering desserts include Tiramisu, Crack Slab pie and gourmet cupcakes (like coconut cake with a crunchy caramel and coconut créme brulée butter cream—drooling!) from local pastry chefs.

The night’s signature drink? The Renny Rocks, generously donated by the hip Brooklyn bar, Franklin Park. Continue Reading

Go Blue This Weekend at Mountie March Out

BY  |  Friday, Nov 21, 2014 2:34pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Go Blue This Weekend at Mountie March Out

Bring the family and join the Montclair community — calling all current, past and future Mounties — for the Mountie March Out!

Tomorrow, November 22, meet the Mountie Marching Band and Cheerleaders in front of MHS, 100 Chestnut at noon. Wanna-be marchers should wear Mountie blue or White-Out T-shirts.

The March Out! starts at 12:15 p.m. down Chestnut Street to Woodman Field. The Mountie March Out! is a celebration of all MHS student musicians and athletes, including the MHS girls soccer team, which will be playing at 10 am on Saturday at Kean University for the Group 4 State Championship. Kick-off for the football game is 1 pm vs. the Hackensack High Comets. Continue Reading

Featured Comment

I am most upset that the teacher doesn't know how to spell "too" correctly "...because I get tickets for parking to [SIC] close.."

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